Braille Formats
Principles of Print to Braille Transcription
1997


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  • Rule 6

    Punctuation, Enclosure or Grouping Symbols
    Boxed Materials

    1. Punctuation

      1. Identification of punctuation marks. When punctuation that is being explained in the text is identified by name and followed by the print mark, it is not necessary to include the braille punctuation symbol or its identifying dot numbers in the braille edition.

      2. Freestanding. If a single punctuation mark is shown standing alone in the print text, insert dot 4 before the braille punctuation symbol. Explain this usage in a transcriber's note.

      3. Unusual configurations. When punctuation marks are printed in configurations that make it difficult to identify the equivalent braille symbols, as when a punctuation mark is enclosed in parentheses or several marks are shown separated by commas, give the names of the punctuation marks and omit the braille punctuation symbols.

      4. Emphasized punctuation

          (1) All punctuation in special typeface. If all punctuation marks in a section of the text are printed in a special typeface or color this must be ignored in the braille edition. Before this material insert a transcriber's note such as the following.

          Print shows boldface punctuation marks.
          or
          Print shows all quotation marks in red.

          (2) All punctuation underlined. When all punctuation marks are underlined this must be ignored in the braille edition. Before this material insert a transcriber's note similar to the following.

          Print underlining of punctuation marks in the following section is omitted in braille.

          (3) Only certain punctuation emphasized. If it is necessary to show that only certain punctuation marks are emphasized in the text by special typeface or underlining, use the braille italic indicator before the symbols for these punctuation marks.

      5. The print slash ( / ). The print slash which has many uses and is given many names, e.g., diagonal, oblique stroke, slant, solidus, and virgule, must be transcribed as directed below.

          (1) Use the slash symbol (456, 34) to represent the print slash whether it is shown unspaced between words, unspaced within words, or separated by spaces and standing alone between words. This symbol must be included in the special symbols list in accordance with Rule 2, Section 5.
          NOTE: The transcription of slashes shown in technical works and in foreign language texts must be in accordance with the applicable braille code or supplement.

          (2) Slashes enclosing pronunciation. The slashes and backslashes that are shown enclosing pronunciations or respellings require use of special enclosure symbols provided as follows.

          Unstressed diacritics, Rule 18, Section 2b
          Diacritics, Rule 18, Section 3b
          Phonetics, Rule 18, Section 4b

      6. Foreign punctuation

          (1) Quotations in several European languages may be shown inside split-level inverted quotation marks (,,"), guillemets (), or inverted guillemets (). Substitute English double quotation marks, placed in normal fashion, for any of these print signs. If both English quotation marks and guillemets are required in a text, substitute English single quotation marks for the guillemets and explain the substitution in a transcriber's note according to Rule 1, Section 7.

          (2) Regardless of their significance, all print dashes must be represented by the braille dash (36, 36) spaced as shown in print. A dash may begin a new braille line if it is spaced in print or if it is unspaced from the word that follows.

          (3) In Spanish passages that show special punctuation, use the exclamation point symbol (235) for both regular and inverted exclamation marks. Use the Spanish question mark symbol (26) for both regular and inverted question marks. Include these punctuation symbols in the special symbols list according to Rule 2, Section 5.

    2. Enclosure or grouping symbols. The transcription of print enclosure signs that appear in textbooks for mathematics, other scientific or technical works, and in music and computer notation must be in accordance with the principles set forth in Rule 1, Sections 1a(1)-(2). In transcribing general textbooks, braille enclosure symbols must be used only as provided in this Code Section.

      1. Pronunciations within enclosures. Special symbols of enclosure that are required when transcribing pronunciations shown in the print text are provided as follows.

        Unstressed diacritics, Rule 18, Section 2b
        Diacritics, Rule 18, Section 3b
        Phonetics, Rule 18, Section 4b

      2. Linear enclosures. Although print enclosure signs may be used either linearly or spatially, the braille symbols that are listed below must be used only to enclose material that is printed linearly. Follow the print copy as to the sequence and spacing of enclosure signs with letters, words, or other punctuation.

          (1) Quotation marks. Follow the print copy as to the use of double or single quotation marks.

          dots 2-3-6"left double quotation mark
          dots 3-5-6"right double quotation mark
          dots 6dots 2-3-6'left single quotation mark
          dots 3-5-6dots 3'right single quotation mark
          NOTE: If single quotation marks are used throughout a text instead of the usual double quotation marks, it is permissible to interchange the symbols for these quotation marks in the braille edition. Explain this substitution on the Transcriber's Notes pages.

          (2) Parentheses

          dots 2-3-5-6(   )left and right parentheses

          (3) Angle brackets

          dots 5-6dots 2-3-6 <left angle bracket
          dots 3-5-6dots 2-3>right angle bracket

          (4) Square brackets

          dots 6dots 2-3-5-6[left square bracket
          dots 2-3-5-6dots 3]right square bracket

          (5) Braces

          dots 5-6dots 2-3-5-6{left brace
          dots 2-3-5-6dots 2-3}right brace

          (6) Vinculum. This print sign is a straight horizontal line drawn over two or more letters, numbers, or words. In braille, substitute a set of enclosure symbols not otherwise used in the surrounding text for this sign. Explain the substitution in a transcriber's note.

      3. Enlarged enclosure or grouping symbols. If a text uses enlarged print enclosure signs, singly or in pairs, to enclose or group together material which is listed vertically, this material may be brailled using one of the methods provided below. Depending upon the frequency of use in the braille edition, the formats given in (1) and (2) below must be explained in transcriber's notes or on the Transcriber's Notes Page(s). NOTE: For consistency, use a single braille format for this material throughout the text section in which it appears regardless of the number of items listed in the enclosures.

          (1) Groups of no more than three listed words. When material that is grouped together by the print enclosure(s) consists of no more than three words, the listed items may be brailled in linear form, separated by semicolons and enclosed in parentheses. This may be explained as follows.

          Words printed as a list are shown in parentheses.

          (2) Groups of four or more listed words or phrases. If a sentence or phrase includes, is preceded, or is followed by a vertical listing of four or more words or phrases shown grouped by enlarged print enclosure(s), braille the sentence or phrase starting in cell 1, inserting a braille double dash to represent the listed items. On the line below, begin the list of items with each one starting in cell 3. All runovers of the sentence, phrase, or listed items must start in cell 5. this may be explained as follows.

          A braille double dash shows where listed items are placed in print.

          (3) Spatial braille diagram. When a spatial braille presentation is needed to convey the meaning of the print material, use the symbols for lines that are provided in Section 3b(1) below.

    3. Boxed or screened materials. The provisions of this Code section apply to boxed materials, i.e., items printed inside graphic boxes or set off by horizontal and/or vertical lines, as well as screened materials, i.e., items printed on graphic blocks of various colors or in shades of gray.

      Specific formats required in transcribing certain boxed materials are provided in other rules of this Code, as follows.

      Boxed words in diagrammed sentences, Rule 15, Sections 3a(2) and 3b(1)(e)
      Boxes indicating blanks to be filled, Rule 13, Sections 8a(1) and 9d
      Cartoons, Rule 17, Section 3
      Columned materials, Rule 7, Section 1a(2)
      Organizational charts, Rule 17, Section 6b
      Print forms, Rule 17, Section 4
      Tables, Rule 8, Section 3

      1. Boxed items shown on single lines of narrative text

          (1) Material shown in a box and printed on a single line within the narrative body of the text must be placed in enclosure symbols provided in Section 2b above that are not otherwise used in the surrounding text. Explain this usage in a transcriber's note.

          (2) Letters, words, or phrases that are printed in small colored boxes on a single line of text must be transcribed using the method provided in Rule 3, Section 2 for material printed in colored type.

      2. Boxed or screened materials set off from narrative text. These materials must be set off in the braille edition using the symbols and formats given below.

          (1) Box lines. The print box lines must be represented by a series of unspaced braille symbols, as follows.

          dots 2-3-5-6top box line
          dots 1-2-4-5bottom box line
          dots 2-5horizontal line within box
          dots 4-5-6vertical line within box, must be preceded and followed by a
                    blank cell

          (2) General provisions

            (a) Each complete box must be preceded by a single top box line and followed by a single bottom box line regardless of the number of braille pages required for the box.

            (b) No blank line must be left before or after a box unless required by other braille formats.

            (c) No blank line is required between the page change indicator and a top or bottom box line.

            (d) A blank line is not required between a centered braille heading and a top box line.

            (e) Within a box, no blank lines must be left immediately below the top box line or immediately above the bottom box line.

            (f) Regardless of the width of the print box, the top and bottom box lines must start at the left margin and extend across the full width of the braille page.

      3. Placement of boxes. Boxed material should be inserted at the most appropriate place in the braille text. When there is sufficient space it is preferable that boxed material be placed on a single braille page.

          (1) Dividing boxes between braille pages. Large boxes should be started on the braille page where the boxed material follows the narrative text in normal context. In dividing a box, at least one braille line of text must follow the top box line or precede the bottom box line on a braille page.

          (2) Full print page(s) of boxed material. When the narrative body of the text is interrupted by a full print page or more of boxed material, see Rule 1, Section 7a(4) for the required transcriber's notes.

          (3) Box at the top of a print page. When boxed material starts at the top of a print page but within a braille page, the top box line must be placed on the line below the page change indicator.

          (4) Box at the bottom of a print page. When boxed material ends a print page, the bottom box line must be followed on the next line by the page change indicator.

          (5) Box at the top of a braille page. When boxed material begins a braille page, the top box line must be placed on the first line with three blank cells left between the end of the line and the print page number. If a running head is used, the top box line must be placed on the second line.

          (6) Box at the bottom of a braille page. The bottom box line may be placed on the last line of a braille page, with the usual three blank cells left before the braille page number.

      4. Adjoining boxes shown on one print page

          (1) Small boxes shown side by side. When two or more boxes are to be shown side by side across the braille page, insert a vertical line of the full cell (123456) from the top to the bottom box line to divide the adjoining boxes. A blank cell must be left before and after this symbol to separate it from material within the boxes.

          (2) Wide boxes shown side by side. If several boxes shown side by side on the print page cannot be contained horizontally across a braille page, they must be presented vertically, using the format given in (3) below. A transcriber's note must precede the first box stating the print placement of the boxes.

          (3) Boxes adjoining vertically. When two or more boxes are to be shown adjoining each other vertically, the top box line must precede only the first box and the bottom box line must follow only the last box. Insert a horizontal line of the full cell (123456) to separate adjoining boxes. No blank line must be left before or after this line.

      5. Boxed or screened material shown continued on another print page. if boxed material is continued from the bottom of one print page to the top of the next or when it is continued on several consecutive print pages, this material must be brailled as if it were in a single box.

          (1) Any regular text on the first print page must be completed before beginning the boxed material.

          (2) The top box line must precede only the first line of boxed material, and the bottom box line must follow only the last line.

          (3) The page change indicator must be inserted in accordance with the change from one print page to another. Do not repeat the top box line following the page change indicator.

      6. Boxed or screened material shown across facing pages. Boxed material that is printed across two facing pages so that it is read as if it were on a single page must be brailled as if it were in one box on a single print page.

          (1) Only boxed material on facing pages. Follow the directives given below when there is only boxed material shown on facing pages.

            (a) Combined print page numbers, e.g., 6-7, must be used. The top box line must be placed according to Section 3c(5) above if the boxed material begins a braille page; according to Section 3c(3) if the box begins within a braille page.

            (b) Any lettered continuation pages must carry the combined print page numbers, e.g., a6-7, b6-7, and so forth. Do not repeat top box line on these pages.

            (c) The bottom box line must follow only the last line of material shown in the box.

            (d) When the text contains a series of similar facing pages of boxed material, the page change indicator must be inserted in accordance with pagination the print text. Use the combined print page numbers and do not repeat the top box line.

          (2) Regular text with boxed or screened material on facing pages. If boxed material that reads across facing pages is accompanied by regular text on one or both of the print pages, follow the directives given below.

            (a) The boxed material, preceded and followed by the required box lines, must be inserted at the most appropriate place on one of the print pages. It must be preceded by a transcriber's note stating the print page placement of the boxed material.

            (b) All regular text on these pages must be brailled and given page numbers in accordance with its placement in the print text.

      7. Different colored boxes. When the reader must be able to distinguish between materials printed in boxes of different colors, use the following braille format. Starting in cell 5 within the top box line, insert the spaced name of the color written in uncontracted braille.


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